Cal Casas factory is located close to the town of Puig-Reig.
Cal Casas is one of the seven textile factories that were built during the second half of the nineteenth century, in the town of Puig-Reig and is the only one around which there developed the set of basic services that characterize the industrial model of the colony. They came to build a colony embryo (the owner house and a housing), but no more services were added. The basic reason is the proximity of the factory to the town of Puig-Reig. This meant that local workers could live in the village and use the services and facilities.
The origins of Cal Casas are common to many river factories in Catalonia: the use of an old flour mill that was put on sale when the goods were confiscated. The old flour mill that was located where today we find the factory houses must be put on sale in 1860 and bought by Miquel Vilanova, one of the largest landowners in the area. In 1861, Llorenç Claret and Sorribes, a manufacturer from Sallent (Bages), acquired a piece of land that was located between the mill and the river Llobregat and later he built a factory there that uses the river as a source power.
In its early years, the working conditions in the factory were very hard. Workers had to endure a workday than twelve hours daily – or more - (six days a week) in a factory full of dangers, noise and inconvenience. To achieve less harsh working conditions workers from Cal Casas, in the summer of 1881, went on strike and extend this position for sixteen weeks.
In 1901 Llorenç Mata Cal Pons factory bought houses, lands, the lock channel and the homes of employees. In 1925 he opened the school, a building that still today bears the name of its founder, Alfred Mata Pons, which became a basic equipment-including school and Hospital-, for all inhabitants of Puig -reig.
Cal Casas was the first of the seven textile factories in Puig-Reig that closed doors. It was 1968. The owners are aware that their machines had been aging and renew it was very expensive, they opted to close noticing the first signs of crisis in the Catalan textile sector. The houses that were built for the workers were sold and its residents could buy them at an affordable price.
Areas of interest
The owner Home and the housing of workers.
The Alfred Mata School, which opened in 1925. It was driven by Alfred Mata Pons, then owner of Cal Casas. Since its establishment, the school became basic equipment for all inhabitants of Puig-Reig.